The Spies Who Loved Me: Episode 14

It’s time to choose a side and tackle the issue straight on. The problem is…can our designer and her husband be trusted? The only way is for him to turn his back on family and give up the only life he has ever known. The many cogs in the wheel come together to make things happen, and it’s a difficult time for everyone involved.


As Derek’s mother takes in the sight of the unconscious spy, she says that whoever hurt him must face the consequences. Ah-reum nearly exposes her and Ji-hoon’s hiding spot in the bathroom when she accidentally nudges the doorknob. Thankfully, Mom’s whisked away by a nurse before she could investigate.

After Ji-hoon sneaks out, Ah-reum stays behind and thinks about her choices: feign ignorance or run. She takes a measured breath when Mom returns before putting on a tearful display. She runs to her mother-in-law and cries, “Derek almost died. How could something like this happen?”

The women dutifully play their parts as the worried mother and heartbroken wife, vowing to teach the culprit a lesson once they’re caught. Ah-reum is determined to catch Mom and when the Helmes boss suggests praying for Derek’s recovery, our seamstress thinks that she should be praying for herself.

Now that Derek’s mom has been identified as Big Boss Hera Shin, the Interpol team understands how everyone links back to Helmes. Jin-min tells the team that they must seize this opportunity to capture the boss. With Derek injured, she won’t be fleeing the country.

Not only is Hera basically evil, she’s also dangerously meticulous and has successfully covered everything up. Jin-min warns them to be careful, especially with Derek and Ah-reum. If family is involved…can they still be trusted? Ji-hoon certainly believes so.

He remembers that Derek once mentioned that the reason for him being in the business is also the reason that makes him want to leave. He believes the spy was referring to Hera and insists that they don’t have a normal mother/son bond. To Ji-hoon, Derek seems like a perfect spy capable of making cold, calculated decisions when necessary. Underneath his smile hides a sharp blade.

Derek wakes up earlier than Ah-reum the next day, and she stirs awake at his voice. While she’s relieved that he’s up, she also berates him for risking his life recklessly. He didn’t expect Ah-reum to be grateful for what he did but had hoped she would hate him less.

She wonders what other surprises he has up his sleeve and sarcastically tells him to just spill his secrets all at once. “I might as well get hospitalized from the shock while I’m here,” she quips.

Derek jokes around for a bit but apologizes when Ah-reum comments that every day with him is an uphill battle. Tired of hearing his endless apologies, she tells him, “You owe Sorry an apology for overusing it!”

Tears begin to form as Ah-reum acknowledges that he grew up well despite keeping such a dark secret by himself. She worries that it caused him to lead a lonely life, but Derek admits that he was fine until they met. He realized then that he would be lonely if she weren’t a part of his life.

Although his eyes are still bandaged up, he can tell that she’s crying. Ah-reum advises him to endure the pain in his heart until he’s able to get better, as it’s harder to treat an emotional wound.

She promises to do all she can to help as long as they’re still on the same team. He nods in confirmation, and the couple goofs around while Ah-reum draws some cartoon eyes on his bandages. However, her smile fades when she leaves the room. She gets a call from Dong-ran alerting her that Dong-taek is back in Korea.

At Gulliver Publishers, Ji-hoon and Seo-ra huddle around when Young-gu opens a video message from the North Korean hacker. The hacker sent them a file as a gift, and instructs the team to install it onto Sophie’s computer.

The file will reset Sophie’s security layers and they’ll only need to break through one layer of the program. When Seo-ra points out that they’re still missing a piece, Ah-reum calls Ji-hoon to the hospital to talk.

Ah-reum tells him that Derek is acting like he’s fine (as per usual), and that she put on a convincing act for his mom. Ji-hoon’s worried because Hera’s likely two steps ahead. She takes out the USB and says that it’s the key in deciding who gets to survive.

Ji-hoon learns that Sophie hid this the night before she died, and that she probably intended to hand it over to him. Ah-reum figures that she added layers of security because she couldn’t completely trust Interpol. Ji-hoon tells her about the hacker’s program, positive that this USB is the only thing they need to access her files.

Ah-reum snatches up the USB before Ji-hoon can get to it. “When you were my husband, I didn’t trust you,” she admits. But now, he can’t trust her because his target is her family. Ah-reum says he’ll have to trust her regardless, “Starting now, you and I are going to pull a scam as a divorced couple.” We aren’t privy to hearing her plan, but Ji-hoon listens carefully.

Later that day, Derek is left with a caretaker while Ah-reum heads back to the shop. This caretaker messes with Derek for a bit until he realizes that it’s Ji-hoon. Derek wriggles in defiance at being lifted into a wheelchair, but is calm by the time they arrive at the examination room. The doctor tells Derek that he’ll be able to recover his vision, luckily.

Ji-hoon brings Derek to the rooftop and has some fun with drawing a new set of eyes on his bandages. When Derek uncharacteristically apologizes, Ji-hoon admits that he would’ve kept the secret too, if Hera were his mother. However, he’s still plans to arrest her. Will Derek save himself or his mom?

To keep his promise as an informant, Derek agrees to hand over the G7 project files, a client list, and a history of transactions that document their espionage activity. He pleads to be let go, and Ji-hoon realizes that Derek truly plans to assume a new identity and live on an island. “What about Ah-reum?” Ji-hoon asks.

Derek says, “Wouldn’t it be better if I left?” Ji-hoon understands that Derek feels too ashamed to stay by Ah-reum’s side. He advises him not to make the same mistake as him. Divorce is tough – it makes one break down at the tiniest things like seeing fallen leaves and feels like a living hell.

While Derek never believed in heaven and hell before, living with Ah-reum allowed him to experience paradise without having to die. He figures he should experience the opposite as well, but Ji-hoon refuses to take part in any of this.

With the temporary loss of his vision, Derek has begun to realize the consequences of his actions. He changes the subject and asks Ji-hoon for a glass of water. Ji-hoon hesitates leaving him alone.

Ah-reum invites Hera to visit Areumdan Dress. As she makes adjustments on a custom-made blazer for her mother-in-law, Ah-reum purposely pricks her with some pins. She grabs a pair of scissors to snip off lose threads and asks Hera to let her and Derek go.

“I told Derek to confess to his crimes,” Ah-reum reveals. “If I’d known that you were behind it, I wouldn’t have told him to do that.” With that out in the open, Hera snidely compliments her acting skills. After learning that Sophie was Ah-reum’s friend, she fakes sympathy at her death and claims that she got caught up with some bad people.

Ah-reum uses the USB as leverage to get Hera to promise not to torture her. Hera chuckles, realizing what draws Derek to Ah-reum. She grabs a pair of scissors and snips a loose thread off Ah-reum too. The seamstress grins when Hera is willing to discuss their options.

Tinker calls a stressed-out Dong-taek and claims that without Derek, they’re finally making progress and have the files now. Dong-ran listens in on the conversation using the device planted behind his painting. She meets with his secretary later to hand over some hidden cameras.

At the hospital, Derek hides his phone the moment he hears his mother’s footsteps. She claims that she’ll relieve some of his stress so that he can recover well, telling him to live a nice married life with Ah-reum. Hera compliments Ah-reum for being smart but says she’s worried that the broken trust can never be mended.

Hera is leaving tomorrow and plans to take care of Interpol when she returns. She’s willing to forgive Derek just this once, and instructs him to return home once things calm down. “Your house is too cramped,” she claims.

Ji-hoon lingers outside the room but gets roped into helping another patient, hiding when Ah-reum’s mom arrives. HA, Hera watches with an incredulous expression as her in-law dotes on Derek with love and affection, going as far as hand-feeding him abalones.

Derek apologizes for making things hard for Ah-reum, but she doesn’t want to hear it. She tells him that you’re meant to lean on your partner when things are hard. Touched, Derek tells her that she’s like a true mom – a snide remark at his own mother.

Ji-hoon watches his former mother-in-law fuss over Derek and lets Ah-reum know what’s going on when she calls. With Mom there, Hera won’t be able to do anything crazy. Ah-reum tells Ji-hoon to come to the shop to meet with Sung-hwan, the scientist who worked with Sophie.

Sung-hwan tells Ah-reum that with the USB Sophie left behind and the program from the hacker, they should be able to access the files. However, they lost their chance because the Americans are celebrating over the fact that they’re taking over the artificial sun. Ah-reum learns that Sung-hwan recently quit because he wants to get out of research, but also because of the recruiter who scammed him.

To his surprise, Ji-hoon the scammer waltzes in and takes a seat in front of him. He’s understandably heated after learning the truth, but Ah-reum promises to make him pay for what he did. They ask him to help them reach the server room, since they aren’t able to get a warrant.

Sung-hwan sighs that he already returned the pupil kit, then realizes that his team leader is away until tomorrow and hasn’t approved of his resignation yet. The former couple fist pumps in unison. Pfft.

Sung-hwan distracts a colleague, allowing Ji-hoon to swipe his employee pass and sneak into the fusion lab while Ah-reum disguises herself as a cleaner to get in. She slips into an office looking for the team leader’s desk. Ah-reum effortlessly picks the lock to a safe, but nearly gets caught stuffing the biometric kit into her glove.

Luckily, it’s just an employee who wants her help tossing out a pungent bottle of Greek yogurt. Despite the minor setback, her mission was a success. Using the retinal lens and latex fingerprint, Ah-reum and Ji-hoon successfully gain access to Sophie’s computer. They plug in the flash drive containing the hacker’s program, successfully disabling the walls of security.

Young-gu hacks the system, granting them access to the server for the final step. With Sophie’s research plugged into the server tower, Ah-reum scans the fingerprint and Ji-hoon successfully opens the EcoSun project file. He hugs her in celebration, and the team back at Gulliver Publishers goes wild.

Hee, Jin-min alternates between yelling “Great job!!” and warning Ji-hoon to deny involvement with Interpol if he gets caught for breaking the law. Ah-reum hangs back, pulling out a second USB and plugging it into the server.

In the parking, she sends Ji-hoon back inside to grab her car key from Sung-hwan, then places the box containing the second USB on top of her car. Tinker drives by in a motorcycle, switching it with another box and brings it to Hera.

“She’s quite something,” Hera admits once she checks that all the data is there. She and Tinker pay Dong-taek a visit, and Tinker whispers that she’s Helmes’ boss. They hand the research over to Dong-taek without knowing that Dong-taek’s secretary bugged the place with cameras.

Interpol watches the scene unfold from outside the house. With enough evidence to charge all parties involved, they barge into Dong-taek’s place and inform Hera and Dong-taek that they’re both to be arrested for industrial espionage and breaking anti-competition laws. Tinker manages to slip away unnoticed.

When Dong-taek tries to make a break for it, Dong-ran sticks out a leg to trip him. She reminds her brother that she has always been smarter. Hera seems to give Jin-min a look, and I don’t like how unfazed she seems.

Ah-reum sits with Young-gu in a car outside. Seeing Dong-taek being dragged away, she and Dong-ran exchange satisfied thumbs ups. In flashback, we learn that Ah-reum orchestrated the plan the day Dong-ran called her at the hospital. After learning that Dong-ran bugged the summerhouse where Dong-taek was hiding, Ah-reum suggested teaming up.

She filled Ji-hoon in after revealing that she was in possession of the research. Hera was in such an agitated state that Ah-reum was sure that she would rush the deal with Dong-taek. Ah-reum was confident that she could trap Hera and help the police apprehend her during their meeting.

Ji-hoon asked how Derek would feel, but Derek already made his choice shortly after waking up from his accident. Ah-reum made him choose a path instead of dragging her deeper into his world. She’d promised not to hate him either way, but Derek decided already. “Arrest my mother.”

During her confrontation with Hera back at Areumdan Dress, Ah-reum claimed that she could steal the blueprints to the technology. She lied that she would do anything for Derek. When Tinker took off with the USB the night before, everything had gone according to plan.

When Young-gu gets a call from Ji-hoon, he reports that Tae-ryong left the hotel. Hearing this, Ah-reum revs the engine and drives away speedily, scaring Young-gu. “My stitches are going to burst,” he claims. Young-gu tells Ji-hoon to hurry and meet up with them.

They arrive at a pier where another officer reports that Tae-ryong has been standing by the dock for the last thirty minutes. He didn’t get onto the smuggler boat, nor did he try to hide from them. Ji-hoon decides to approach Tae-ryong alone.

Ah-reum recalls meeting Tae-ryong back when she thought he was Ji-hoon’s uncle. They planned to share a meal, but he was only able to stay long enough to exchange greetings. He had a huge smile and sincerely asked Ah-reum to take care of Ji-hoon.

He made up a lie about having to tend to his damaged fruit orchard to cover up the fact that he was in the middle of an operation. Their short interaction was enough for Ah-reum to know that he was a kind person. Ji-hoon agreed, “He’s like a father to me.”

In the present, Ji-hoon asks why he did it. He gets emotional, wanting to know why Tae-ryong didn’t share what was going on with his family. “It only takes one moment to break your spirit,” Tae-ryong replies, “I came this far pretending I was fine. What I regret is that I wasn’t true to myself.”

Having thought he was living a good life, Tae-ryong discovered he was merely enduring it all this time. He feels sorry towards Ji-hoon. After being betrayed by his wife, he understood Ji-hoon’s feelings. He tells Ji-hoon that he was waiting for him to come and arrest him, not wanting to be cuffed by anyone else.

Ji-hoon’s unable to do it, thinking back to when Tae-ryong once told him, “You feel like you’re all alone, right? But that’s not true. Everyone is lonely, so don’t feel any less confident.” His former boss walks over and cuffs himself as tears travel down Ji-hoon’s face. He watches as Seo-ra drives off with Tae-ryong, and Ah-reum offers a comforting pat on the back.

Meanwhile, Hera requests to see Derek at the hospital one last time before being taken in for questioning. Jin-min allows it.

Ah-reum and Ji-hoon arrive at the hospital, but she’s nervous about telling Derek. She wonders if he regrets having his family arrested because of her, but Ji-hoon assures her that she’s also Derek’s family. He offers to break the news, but Ah-reum knows she should comfort her husband.

Derek sits with his head hanging, having already heard the news from Jin-min. It’s a day that would have come eventually, but Ah-reum wonders…what if it only came because of her? Derek coldly asks if she regrets that they met, “Would it have been better that way?” Wanting to be alone, he tells her to rest. She complies, after placing a comforting hand on his shoulder.

Ji-hoon enters and sits on the bed without saying anything. Derek gets annoyed hearing him sigh, saying that it hurts his pride. When Ji-hoon thanks him for keeping his end of the bargain, Derek can hear that he had been crying. “Why would you cry first? That hurts my pride!” Aw, he’s so obviously hurting.

They share a moment, bonding about how they both put the person they care most behind bars today. It’s something Ji-hoon never imagined happening, but Derek knew that this day would come. He dreaded the night when he’d have to be alone after betraying her, but doesn’t regret his choice. He chose Ah-reum over his mother, and will take responsibility for marrying her. Ji-hoon notes that Derek’s doing what he failed to do.

While waiting outside, Ah-reum sees Hera approaching with police officers surrounding her. They interrupt the guys’ heart-to-heart and Mom asks to speak to Derek alone. She rattles her handcuffs and Derek sarcastically apologizes that they’re not gold, which would suit her style.

Hera just says that receiving the “Best Mother” award was the happiest day of her life. She’s just as happy today because he has proven that he can be cold and calculating just like she’d raised him to be. Hera reminds Derek that the last one standing wins.

Ah-reum enters the room avoiding eye contact with her mother-in-law. Hera asks if she’d like to know a secret: “Sophie was killed by Derek,” she drawls.


Wow, that was a whirlwind of an episode. Ah-reum continues to be smart, communicative and resourceful. She takes ownership for her part in relationships, sometimes more so than needed. Ah-reum did a great job speaking to Derek and making sure he understood that it wasn’t okay to continue dragging her into the world of espionage, where she doesn’t belong. She respected that he may not choose her, and wouldn’t have hated him for it. She just needed to know where his alliance laid so that she could sort out her next steps. Ah-reum from the past would have lashed out at Derek, but she has grown since then and her communication style has evolved. Logically, everyone knows that lashing out isn’t the proper way to solve a problem, but it’s very difficult not to do when you’re heated about a problem.

Her plan worked out so well that it makes me worried. It’s also weird to me that Hera was arrested but allowed to walk around freely and even left alone with her spy of a son. What if they were in cahoots and she used that chance to escape? Why was she even given the freedom to do whatever she wants? That aside, Ah-reum really showed how capable she is. She would make a great agent, and it seems like Jin-min is slowly becoming her number one fan. Imagine if she, Derek, and Ji-hoon all ended up working for Interpol together!

I strangely enjoyed seeing Derek with his eyes hidden for the duration of this episode. In an odd way, it seemed easier to get a read on him even with half his face covered. Derek is trained to always act a certain way. Everything from his eyes to his smile is perfectly curated to fit the situation, and he’s good at it as a master manipulator. Now that nobody can see what his eyes look like, he almost seems a bit more relaxed. He’s still as alert as ever and can pick up on things like the fact that Ji-hoon cried earlier that night. I really appreciate their budding bromance.

Ji-hoon wears his heart on his sleeves and has been criticized by his team for being too emotionally invested. Derek is the complete opposite, and is highly perceptive. It must be easy for him to read Ji-hoon’s emotions and intentions since he puts it all out there. I think it’s a problem that Derek pushed Ah-reum away after learning of his mother’s arrest, but am glad that he at least had Ji-hoon to open up to. It’s interesting that Derek claimed to never have been lonely, yet is most scared about being alone after betraying his mother. It isn’t a surprise that Hera is a terrible mother. I wonder if she’d lie about Derek being Sophie’s killer? Because if what she’s claiming is true, I don’t think Derek will ever be forgiven and he’ll experience loneliness like never before.


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Ji Hoon is too good! He tries to understand everybody and doesn't get angry. His father figure betrayed him and his lost his only family member... He's nice with Derek and tries to convince him to stay with Ah-Reum even if it will break his own heart :(


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Ji-hoon and Derek will never have an easy relationship, but I appreciate that they both have a kind of mutual respect for, and even a little understanding of, each other. There's a lot of unsaid stuff that they both know, and neither uses that against the other when it comes to Ah-reum.

This episode felt a bit like the shipwreck is starting, and Ah-reum is trying very hard to keep the boards of the boat together. She definitely has a taste for the spy life, and I liked that she put together her own plan, and that Ji-hoon was willing to hear it.

It was pretty obvious that things would start to unravel at some point - so now the question is maybe what does each of them hold on to, and what will they let go.


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